Mar 2017 - Cabot eNews

March's edition of Cabot eNews.

In this edition:

1. Mayor's 2017 Council budget passed
2. Metro Mayor election just 6 weeks away
3. New Baldwin Street Link to open Sunday 2 April
4. Two bits of good news on Bristol air quality
5. Violence at Triangle nightclubs
6. Prince Street bridge re-opens "late April"
7. 506 bus to be axed when Metrobus starts
8. Harbour power-boat racing update
9. Clean Streets survey
10. Clean up Bristol Harbour
11. Brandon Yard update
12. McArthur's Warehouse plans
13. "Memory Cafe" in Hotwells
14. Jacobs Wells Baths Update
15. Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme update
16. Hotwells & Harbourside neighbourhood forum
17. Bristol Harbourside Monday Morning Social Running
18. Childminders wanted
19. Local exhibitions
20. And finally... I'm a father!

1. Mayor's 2017 Council budget passed

This isn't about the National budget shambles from Chancellor Philip
Hammond, but is about the Council's own budget set a couple of weeks
previous to that. Labour Party Mayor Marvin Rees has passed his Council
budget un-amended, which meant a 5% rise in Council tax, and cuts of £33m
from this year's spending to bridge a hole created by the Government's
cuts. Details of the cuts can be found here:

Being forced into such extreme cuts is a miserable time for any council. A
particular blow is the cutting of all neighbourhood partnership and
forum funding, which will mean that the current system ends in a few
months. A number of amendments to the budget were proposed by Lib Dems,
Conservatives and Green Party. All of them were voted down by the
majority Labour group, which I think was a real shame, as several of
them were very sensible and used clever finance shifts to soften the
blow of some of the cuts. I spoke a couple of times in the debate on
the amendments; the meeting was webcast live and is available to view
in full at:

2. Metro Mayor election just 6 weeks away

On May 4th there will be a "Metro Mayor" election across most of former
Avon. The new Metro Mayor will chair a committee of the Council leaders
in the area, and will work only on strategic issues including planning,
housing, transport and employment/skills; and have a budget of £30m
per year. If you aren't registered to vote, you need to do so ASAP in
order to be able to vote:

Former Government minister, Bristol West MP, and city centre councillor:
Stephen Williams, is the Lib Dem candidate for this election. He
is currently the bookie's favourite, just ahead of the Conservative
candidate. Stephen's manifesto and other policy info are available here: . His current campaigning activity
is availble here:

If you want to help our election effort in any way, or Stephen's campaign
against a "hard Brexit", please email

3. New Baldwin Street Link to open Sunday 2 April

The MetroBus city centre improvements reach a major milestone on Sunday
2 April with the opening of the new link between Baldwin Street and St
Augustine's Parade, and the introduction of new permanent city centre
traffic routes. The changes will (hopefully) simplify traffic flows,
reduce congestion and create more space for public transport, pedestrians
and cyclists. The opening of the new link road means that some current
traffic movements within the city centre will be ended. The movements
no longer possible will be:
* The right turn (northbound) from Baldwin Street to Lewins Mead
* The left turn (southbound) from Rupert Street to Baldwin Street

4. Two bits of good news on Bristol air quality

Our years-long campaign to clean up Bristol's air is starting to get
results, with two bits of good news:

1) The Government has approved a £500,000 grant to the Council for a
feasibility study to find out how big a clean air zone should be and
which vehicles should be affected. This is superb news and means real
work on planning the zone will start at last.

2) The Council bans new diesel taxis! Bristol Council has warned cab
drivers they will not be able to license diesel vehicles from April
1, 2018, with only petrol, hybrid and non-diesel 'Ultra Low Emission
Vehicles' allowed. This is good news!

5. Violence at Triangle nightclubs

Many residents were horrified to hear (and see) the violence outside
Analog nightclub on the Triangle on the weekend of 5th March, in which
4 people were stabbed and many more injured.

I contacted the Licensing department the next day to find out what
action would result. The police are currently investigating the incident
and the Council is liaising with them. Depending on where the police
investigation leads the Council will decide its response. The Council
understands the premises has recently changed ownership and will shortly
be closing for a refit, therefore there is likely to be an application
to transfer the licence in due course. In my opinion the Council should
be tough as nails on venues where things like this happen, and I will
be lobbying accordingly.

6. Prince Street bridge re-opens "late April"

The Council has said that Prince Street bridge will open in "late
April". To be honest, I wouldn't arrange anything important that requires
this to have happened on time. Once bitten, etc...

7. 506 bus to be axed when Metrobus starts

As a result of the Council budget cuts passed this month, the 506
Wessex bus will no longer serve Spike Island from 2nd September - it
will terminate at the centre instead. However, the Council has assured
me that this is timed to coincide with the start of the new Metrobus
service along Cumberland Road, so bus users will be able to switch to
the much more frequent and RELIABLE new service instead. The 506 has
been a pretty woeful service in general, so I'm sure most will welcome
its replacement by Metrobus!

8. Harbour power-boat racing update

I have continued with asking questions in the Council trying to find
out what is being planned for this event. I've been told that "site
permissions are now being applied for". No go-ahead has been given,
but the event is going to 'SAGE' (the Council's Safety Advisory Group);
then it will go to the licensing department for outdoor-performance and
alcohol licenses (which can be objected to in the usual manner by the
public); then risk/safety assessments will be done. How the event fits
with the city's Green Capital status (if at all) will be tested at the
later event planning stage.

9. Clean Streets survey

As a part of the Mayor's Clean Streets initiative Bristol Waste
is currently looking at choices to help make the city tidier and
more sustainable. Help make the city tidier and more sustainable by
filling out the Bristol Clean  Streets litter and recycling survey:

10. Clean up Bristol Harbour

This is a local group of volunteers working to improve the harbour
by picking up the floating litter (just walking around or on
water-crafts). They run clean-up sessions every month, and the next
is Sunday 16th of April, 2pm-4pm followed by some drinks; meet by the
Arnolfini pontoon. More info:

11. Brandon Yard update

After the public consultation, it is expected that the plans for this
site will go to Planning Committee in early April. Also, Unit10 - an
artist-led social enterprise in Bristol - are carrying out an art project
with St Mungo's, themed about tackling social isolation in the city. They
will display some prints on the hoardings at Brandon Yard. As well as
supporting a community initiative, the hope is that it will discourage
some of the graffiti which has been placed on the hoardings.

12. McArthur's Warehouse plans

Plans for the McArthur's Warehouse site in Bristol have been further
developed by its new owner following a public consultation. The property,
located on Gas Ferry Road, has been vacant for more than 20 years and
is one of the last remaining development plots surrounding Bristol's
Floating Harbour. The revised plans are a significant improvement,
although there remain concerns about the height of the south end of the
site, at 8 storeys.

13. "Memory Cafe" in Hotwells

Holy Trinity church in Hotwells are extending their support to older
people in the area. They are pleased to announce that following successful
bids for funding they will be starting a monthly Trinity Memory Cafe. The
first cafe will be 11am-1pm on Wednesday March 22nd. It will then take
place every 4th Wednesday of the Month.

The cafe will be a place for people with memory problems and their
carers to meet, have a coffee, and cake, get information and advice
about dementia with your local Dementia Navigator, or just socialise and
chat with other like-minded people. They provide stimulating activities
for carers and people with dementia which can help prevent boredom
and aid relaxation. For example, live music, sing-alongs, quizzes,
painting, memory box work, informative talks. There is no charge. Please
contact Leanne for details: 0117 983 8878 - -

14. Jacobs Wells Baths Update

The Bath building is back open, after a few days closure while some Health
and Safety improvements were sorted out. The information event on the
future of Jacobs Wells Baths on 28 Feb was well-attended and included a
lively question and answer session. The next working group on the future
of the Baths will meet at the Baths at 6.30-8.30pm, March 23rd. Please
contact if you would like to attend but were not at
the previous meeting. Notes from the last meeting are available here:

15. Tesco Bags of Help funding scheme update

As well as funding green projects, the overall criteria for the scheme
has now been expanded to include improvements to community buildings like
scout huts, church or village halls or sports changing rooms, as well
as funding outdoor/green spaces etc. Groups looking to hold seasonal
events and activities, such as village fetes or Christmas lights etc
are also eligible to apply for funding through the programme. As funding
from the Council dries up in Bristol following this year's budget cuts,
external funders such as this become more important. For more information
and to apply for a grant:

16. Hotwells & Harbourside neighbourhood forum

On Wednesday 22rd March there will be a special forum: "Community
influence on local decision making in times of cuts". This forum will be
joint with the Central ward forum, 7-8.30pm, at The Pavilion, BS1 5JE, on
harbourside. It will discuss how the community work done in the forums can
continue after all funding was cut at the recent Council Budget meeting.

The next meeting of the Central, Clifton and Harbourside Neighbourhood
Partnership is Tuesday, 4th April, 7.00pm, at City Hall.

17. Bristol Harbourside Monday Morning Social Running

Led by local runners, the run is open to all abilities and perfect for
those looking for some daytime social running. It's not competitive -
no one is left behind. Meet every Monday on the harbourside at Mardyke
Steps behind The Galley Cafe next to Young Bristol at 9:25am for a
9:30 start. The run lasts for about an hour finishing roughly around
10.30. Running will be mainly on road on the harbourside circuit with
the tow-path and Ashton Court being included as the weather improves.

18. Childminders wanted

Now in the top 20% of local authority areas across the country,
across Bristol there are around 450 independent childminders who look
after children under eight years old. And there's room for more. The
council supports the city's childminders with professional development,
providing advice, information, suggestions for improvement to bring
standards up all across the city, and is encouraging more people to
take up the profession. Could you do this vital and rewarding role? The
council holds free information sessions for people considering becoming
a childminder. To find out more contact the Family Information Service
on 0117 3574192.

19. Local exhibitions

M-Shed: Skeletons - Our Buried Bones; 8 April - 3 Sep. The exhibition
features 12 skeletons from London and the Bristol region, each with a
unique story to tell.

20. And finally... I'm a father!

Just a personal note to let you know I become a father earlier this
month! Mother and new daughter are doing well, and I'm over the moon :-)
. I'm coming to the end of a little bit of paternity leave, but please
forgive me if I'm a little slow or scatty over the next few weeks -
I plead lack of sleep!